South Carolina Child Support Laws: 5 Things You Need to Know
With divorce and children, the result is that one parent is generally going to get the child the majority of the time. And the other parent will have to pay child support.
Of course, there are scenarios where this is not the case, such as when parents get a 50-50 times-sharing split.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you should know about child support in South Carolina.
1. How is Child Support Calculated in South Carolina?
When the judge orders child support, both parent’s incomes are calculated. SC child support guidelines consist of a formula that calculates the child support payments.
This formula includes how many children there are, the monthly income of both parents, work-related child care costs, health care expenses, whether one parent has to pay alimony to the other parent or someone else, and so on.
2. Can I Deviate from the SC Child Support Guidelines?
Yes, there are circumstances when you can deviate from the child support guidelines. Not every family has the same situation so there may be factors that can reduce the non-custodial parent’s child support obligation.
For instance, if you have education expenses, consumer debts, a disparity in income, the child works, or if you have six or more children, then you may get a lower child support obligation than you might expect due to a simple formula or standard.
3. How Long Do I Have to Pay Child Support in South Carolina?
If you’re ordered to pay child support in South Carolina, then you’ll have to pay this until the child turns 18 years old. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
For instance, you may still have to pay until your child graduates from high school. If your child is 19 and still hasn’t graduated, then you no longer have to pay child support.
Also, if your child gets emancipated before turning 18, then you no longer have child support obligations.
But if your child is disabled, then you’ll have to continue child support even after he or she turns 18 years old.
4. What Happens if I Don’t Pay Child Support in South Carolina?
If the court orders you to pay child support and you willfully refuse to, then you can be held in contempt by the court. You may also receive fines for the other party’s court and attorney’s fees.
You can also have your license suspended and passport denied. In worst case scenarios, you can even receive jail time.
5. Can I Modify Child Support in South Carolina?
Yes, either party can request the court to modify child support to either increase or decrease the obligation. There are different situations where the judge grants one.
For instance, if you lost your job and now have a lower paying job, then you can ask for a decrease. Just be sure that you don’t quit or get fired on purpose to find lower-paying work because this can backfire on you.
Also, if you end up getting a higher paying job, then the other party can ask to increase the child support amount.
Following South Carolina Child Support Laws
If you are recently divorced or are currently going through one, then you may find the South Carolina child support laws to be a bit confusing.
This is why you should seek the counsel of a family law attorney.
Contact us now for help!